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EPA provides $170K to advance redevelopment of former Stillwater Community Hospital in Columbus, Montana

Brownfields grant to clean up asbestos, lead and other contaminants

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Richard Mylott (

DENVER-  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing Stillwater County a $170,000 Brownfields grant to clean up the former Stillwater Community Hospital property at 44 West 4th Avenue North in Columbus, Montana. The County will use the EPA funds to remove asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, lead-based paint, and mold in portions of the old hospital building. Once cleanup is complete, the building will be redeveloped.

Stillwater County is among 144 grant recipients across the nation receiving EPA Brownfields Environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

 “EPA Brownfields grants transform environmental hazards into community assets,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “We look forward to supporting Stillwater County as they remove contaminants and create a new, vibrant future for the former hospital property in Columbus.”

 “With EPA’s Brownfields cleanup grant, Stillwater will be able to remove all hazardous materials from the former hospital property that has been vacant for some time now,” said Stillwater County Economic Development Coordinator Marissa Hauge.  “We see opportunity, once safely cleaned up, to be able to redevelop this property to spur economic growth to a prominent area within Columbus.” 

The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two-to-seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.

Communities can use EPA Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.

List of the FY 2018 applicants selected for funding:

For more information on Brownfields grants:

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program:

For more information on how brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: